However, before you sign any contracts, be sure that you ask these eight questions.
How Many Of Your Daily Cases Are Personal Injury Related?
This first question is a vital one as it will reveal to you just how often the lawyer practices in the personal injury field. It’s not uncommon for lawyers to practice in the general field. While every lawyer can handle most types of cases, they’re not experienced in many fields. According to Mann Law Firm, hiring a lawyer that solely practices personal injury law is more likely to get you a higher settlement than lawyers who practice general law. They will have the experience to see your case through to the end and ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve. They have a setup process for dealing with personal injury cases that are effective.
Will You Be Handling My Case Directly?
This is an imperative question to understand just who is responsible for your case. While you may have your initial interview with a specific lawyer, you may find later that your case will be handed over to one of their fellow practice lawyers. This typically happens when dealing with larger law firms.
While you may have full confidence in the lawyer during your initial consultation, you’ll have no idea what the other lawyer is like that may be handling your case. If the initial lawyer does tell you they will be handing off your case, you should ask to meet with the lawyer who will be actually handling your case. This way, you can get a feel for how they operate and so forth.
What Do You Feel My Case Is Worth?
While knowing what your potential compensation will be is an imperative part of your case, this question is simply to help assess the lawyer. Any experienced personal injury lawyer should be able to tell you what your case is worth. They may not be able to give you an exact figure, but they should be able to give you a ballpark figure.
If the figure is well over what you initially considered, ask how they’ve come to that conclusion. Have the lawyer reference past cases that were similar to yours. You want to ensure that the lawyer you intend to hire has a reasonable figure in mind for the outlook of your case.
What Is Your Compensation Rate?
This is an imperative one as you need to know what you’ll owe the lawyer. In most personal injury cases, you won’t be responsible for paying the lawyer unless they win your case. Most lawyers will charge a percentage of the fees they’re able to win for you. However, realize that even if you lose, you may be responsible for fees incurred during the case. These can include filing fees, expert witness fees, and evidence gathering fees.
What Percentage Of Your Cases Go To Trial?
It’s vital to realize that there are two main outcomes for your case. You can either settle it before going to court or have the court rule on it. Lawyers who tend to have a lower percentage of cases that actually go to trial are more likely to get you a desirable settlement. This can mean getting compensation sooner than waiting out a court date. If the lawyer doesn’t have any cases that go to trial, you may want to consider another practitioner. You want your lawyer to have some experience in the courtroom to ensure they’ll handle your case well.
How Often Do You Get Case Referrals From Other Lawyers?
This is a key question that can let you know a lot about a potential hire. If a lawyer receives referrals from other professionals in their field, it indicates that they are a highly respected player. In addition, it tells you that they interact well with other lawyers. This can do wonders for helping to reach a desirable settlement for your case.
Have You Handled Any Cases Similar To Mine?
Personal injury is a big legal field. There are all types of personal injury cases including car accidents and slip and falls. Many lawyers tend to focus on one key area of personal injury. This gives them extensive knowledge on what works, what the average case is worth, and so forth. Therefore, you want to ask a potential hire if they have handled many similar cases to yours. This way, you can determine if they are practicing personal injury in the field your case falls into or not. You don’t want to hire an attorney who mainly handles car accident cases when you have a slip and fall injury.
Have You Ever Been Disciplined By The State Bar?
Each of the 50 states has its own State Bar that each lawyer must register with. When the lawyer is actively allowed to practice, they have a state license. When they’ve been disbarred, they no longer have a legal license to practice. However, it’s not always this black and white.
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